Planning an autobiography: Tips on getting started
An autobiography is a written account about oneself, narrated by oneself. An autobiography can be written for many reasons but are typically released by people who are well established or recognised in their fields and can also document unique introspective life stories.
Autobiography vs Biography
Biographies on the other hand are life stories written by a third party, and more often than not document the story of historical figures including politicians, entertainers and entrepreneurs.
Though biographical writers have a particular set of skills in order to aptly present the lives of renowned people, autobiographers need expertise in one field: themselves.
Planning an autobiography
If you are considering writing an autobiography or telling your story, My Story Told is the ideal choice to accompany you on your journey. Our expert writers will be there every step of the way to help with developing and writing your story exactly how you envisage it.
Understand your audience
Before planning an autobiography, thoroughly understanding who you are writing the book for. This is important because it will influence the tone, structure and overall approach of the story you are telling. If you are sharing industry expertise, it must be presented in a coherent way for the target audience.
Identify a clear core concept
Some key questions that are important in the planning stages of your autobiography include: what are you looking to get out of the book? Is there a central idea that can shape and unify the narrative of the book?
Familiar core concepts in autobiographical writing include keeping faith in the face of adversity or a rags to riches story; however, identifying a reoccurring trope can help streamline the planning process to include the most suitable stories and memories that align with the vision you have for your story.
In addition to identifying a clear concept, pinpointing key life moments and weighing up their relevance is another important aspect of the planning process. If you are writing your story for your family, involving them in the planning process can be effective in choosing the best stories to include.
Here are two starting points when thinking about significant memories:
- Childhood - detailing how your journey started or your formative years can provide contrast to where you are today and how you got there. This will also give the reader some background detail that creates a rounded view of your life.
- Pivotal moments - significant turning points or moments that played a major role in your journey are what readers are looking for. They are also important in formulating the narrative construct of your story.
Our previous blog entry titled 7 questions you should ask yourself before telling your life story can help with this section of the process.
Your book should be seen as a portal into your life and should be written in your own voice. It is your story after all. Use the language you are most comfortable with, don’t try to upgrade your writing with a larger vocabulary than you would normally use. Instead, pick the words you would normally use and this will maintain the personal touch of the story.
How My Story Told can help
My Story Told can aid with any of the above considerations when planning your book. Our expert team of writers will be on hand to ask the right questions and get all the juicy details of each story.
Regular catch-up meetings will provide the perfect opportunity to reflect on the memories that have been documented and a chance to fill in any blanks.
Get in touch and start your journey with us today.